Every weekday on Marketplace, Kai Ryssdal hosts a lively and unexpected exploration of the day’s business and economic news from Wall Street to your wallet.
After the Deepwater Horizon debacle, the Obama administration decided that it would integrate all complex contracts in-house, and have one person coordinate big projects like that. It hasn’t worked, mainly because the very people who are qualified to do that job, would rather make the big money in the private sector. Cable television nearly did in TV Guide Magazine. But a few years ago a private-equity firm took it over and remade it. And German Chancellor Angela Merkel is outraged at possible bugging of her mobile phone by the U.S. European leaders meeting in Brussels will discuss how to respond to allegations of U.S. spying. Possible retaliations include suspending the transfer of bank data and withdrawal of cooperation on an EU-U.S. free trade deal.
President Obama promised that no one who had health insurance would have to change because of the new health care law, but hundreds-of-thousands of people who have individual policies are receiving cancellation notices from their insurers. In many cases, though, they will be offered new policies that are more comprehensive and no more expensive. Plus, as online retailers fight for a piece of the customer pie, the ability to deliver goods quickly and cheaply is key. eBay has bought the same-day delivery service Shutl and Amazon tries to lock in customers with its Prime service that allows "free" shipping with an annual subscription. Finally, investing in nascent companies has, for the most part, been the preserve of the wealthy. Until now. A new law will allow people of average means to play venture capitalist.
A lackluster jobs report has many economists worried about a slowing economy, especially since the partial government shutdown. Also, the George Washington University has basically been fibbing about its admissions policy, saying it is "need blind," when in fact, students are admitted based, in part, on their ability to pay. Finally, Yahoo just hired David Pogue from the New York Times and appears once again to be taking the plunge into original content. But Yahoo has trodden this route several times before, and struggled before.
We're getting early reports of a potential $13 billion JP Morgan Chase settlement, of which $4 billion would go to consumers. But how does relief come, when it finally arrives, and for folks stung by the housing crisis, might it amount to too little, too late? Also, with the health care technology issues that continue to get worse, what can the Obama administration do to improve customer experience quickly -- besides giving out a 1-800 number? Finally, that 17th century "it" girl, Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring, is back in New York for the first time in 30 years.
The government is reopen! That means everything is great, right? Not quite. Our weekly wrappers Nela Richardson and John Carney look back at the tumultuous week and what to expect in the upcoming months from budget battles. A congressional supercommittee has been tasked with coming up with a budget plan both parties can get behind, but what makes this one different than the last supercommittee that couldn't solve the sequester? Members of Congress give their advice. Mercedes-Benz has an aging problem, will they be able to target younger car buyers? And, commuters in the Bay Area are dealing with the latest BART strike between transit worker unions and management. The U.S. director of federal mediating couldn't solve the impasse and went home. What's a federal mediator do, anyway?
There’s a better than average chance that the government could shut down again in a few months if Congress can’t come to an agreement, and that will mean that contractors will lose money -- again. How are they factoring in uncertainty into their operations? Meanwhile, we lost two weeks of government data -- data that helps economists study things and data that helps farmers plant stuff. Finally, Facebook is easing up on teens, giving them the ability to have their posts seen by anyone, not just friends. This catches up to rivals Twitter and Instagram, while opening teens to more advertising, at a time when Facebook appears to be losing popularity among teens.